For believers in Jesus, what will be the eternal state?
We know few specifics regarding believers' state in the afterlife in heaven. What we do know comes from the Bible and it offers us clues that point to some wonderful things.
First, we know that the eternal state of the believer is one of "eternal life." The word "eternal" most often used in the Bible is the Greek aionos, which means either having no beginning and no end, or having a beginning but no end. We get the English word "eons" from it. The word for "life" associated with eternity is the Greek zoe. This describes a specific kind of life without end; it isn't merely biological life that lasts forever, but a quality of life.
The Bible says that people who believe receive resurrected bodies (1 Corinthians 15:42) that will be glorified, or especially designed, for eternal existence. We know that we will live in these bodies in a new heaven and new earth, and the New Jerusalem will be brought to that new earth from God (Revelation 21:1–27).
John describes what he heard and saw in Revelation 21:3: "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God." We will be with God for eternity (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
Not only will our bodies be different in our eternal state, but our experience will be different than life we know on earth. For the most part, the differences described in the Bible are what will be absent from our experience: death, mourning, crying, pain, the curse of sin, bad memories, distress (Revelation 21:4; 22:3; Isaiah 65:17). First Corinthians 2:9 quotes Isaiah 64:4: "But, as it is written, 'What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him."
What will we do in our eternal state? We will serve and worship God (Revelation 22:3), see Him face to face (Revelation 22:4), live in perfect health (Revelation 22:2), and in holiness (Revelation 22:5). This place where we live, heaven, will be "where righteousness dwells" says 2 Peter 3:13.
These new bodies and new places have all been part of God's plan for those who are saved (Romans 8:30; Philippians 1:6). This wonderfulness is made possible for us by Jesus' sacrifice in coming to earth, dying on the cross, and having the power over death as shown by His resurrection (John 3:14–16).
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